21 Strategies to Build yourself in Childcare Careers

Childcare careers: Whether you’re finishing up your education and are ready to venture into the real world or have been working in a certain field for a while and want to try something new, deciding on a career path can seem overwhelming. However, with a little self-exploration and some research, you can easily choose a career that will leave you feeling fulfilled.

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Childcare careers

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1. Get the Background:

Child care providers nurture and instruct children in a variety of roles for organizations or as care givers for one family. If you enjoy interacting with babies and young children and guiding their early growth, working as a child care provider may offer you a fulfilling career path. Learning more about the responsibilities these providers take on and how to start working in this profession can help you decide if this job is right for you.

In this article, we explain the role of a child care provider, share steps to help you prepare for this job and provide more details about the position, such as salary and critical skills.

What does a child care provider do?

2. Child care providers provide education and care for babies and young children.

As day care providers and nannies, they teach children, supervise their play and prepare them to succeed in school. When caring for infants and toddlers they often take care of basic functions like diapering and feeding. They also complete many of the following tasks:

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3. Teaching children simple concepts:

Child care providers may instruct children about fundamentals like sharing, manners and hygiene. Some child care professionals also follow curricula and teach children basics like numbers and the letters of the alphabet.

4. Overseeing activities:

Child care providers also supervise educational and recreational activities, such as playing games or using playground equipment. They may also design activities that encourage children to develop their motor skills.

Childcare careers

5. Tracking progress:

Child care providers give parents regular progress reports with daily, weekly or monthly updates. These reports help parents assess what their children are learning and accomplishing.

6. Identifying developmental issues:

As day care providers care for children, they watch for early signs of developmental problems. They can report any cognitive, emotional or physical problems that they observe to parents.

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7. Preparing nutritious meals:

To help children maintain good health, many child care providers prepare nutritious meals and snacks. While nannies may follow parents’ food preparation instructions, day care providers often prepare meals determined by the facility.

Child care provider requirements

Child care provider roles typically require a combination of education, training, experience, certifications and skills. Below are the common requirements for this position:

8. Education

Education requirements for child care providers depend on both the employer and state regulations. Many employers opt to hire those with at least a high school diploma or GED credential. Individuals who work in child care facilities are often required by the state to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. With this educational foundation, child care providers can obtain basic language, math, science and reasoning skills.

Some child care facilities may also prefer to hire professionals who also have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common post-secondary degrees include:

Childcare careers

9. Child development:

This degree teaches you the basics of childhood education and how to create effective learning environments that foster the development of children. With a degree in this area, you can master various types of development in children, understand proper nutrition and health for young children, and learn how to care for and teach special needs students.

10. Early childhood education:

This degree prepares you to teach young children, typically up to 10 years old. With this degree, you can learn to show young children how to master foundational skills, teach children with special needs and master skills like instruction.

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Childcare careers

11. Training

Training requirements vary from employer to employer, but most require child care professionals to learn the basics of their position before working with children, which could include supervised on-the-job training. In some states, professionals who work in child care facilities must complete annual training to refresh their skills and update their knowledge of safety procedures.

12. Certifications

Childcare providers typically earn first aid and CPR certifications before working in day care facilities. The Red Cross offers both certifications for a fee. You can usually earn these two certifications by completing an online course and attending an interactive classroom session. After completing these two sessions, you receive a certification valid for two years.

13. Many child care providers also earn professional credentials.

Those who work in child care facilities often attain the Council for Professional Recognition’s Child Development Associate credential. You can get this credential by completing the required coursework, gaining work experience and demonstrating your skills in a work setting. Some nannies and home-based child care providers get accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care. To earn this credential, you complete online coursework and allow an expert to conduct an observational visit at your place of work.


To excel as a childcare provider, develop the following skills:

14. Communication skills:

Child care providers benefit from clear communication with parents, children and colleagues. Knowing how to speak simply when instructing children and writing concisely when conveying messages to parents or colleagues helps caregivers thrive.

Childcare careers

15. Interpersonal skills:

Since child care professionals work with people throughout the day, strong interpersonal skills benefit those in this position. This skill also helps child care providers build trusting relationships with children and parents and maintain respectful interactions with colleagues.

16. Listening skills:

 To fully understand parents’ needs and colleagues’ requests, child care providers develop excellent listening skills. They listen actively, noting important information and instructions.

17. Patience:

Since they work with young children with diverse needs, demands and maturity levels, working as a child care provider requires patience. They regularly practice patience when responding to conflicts or determining a child’s needs.

18. Stamina:

 To keep up with babies and young children, child care professionals benefit from physical endurance. They may need to stand for long hours while teaching and supervising children inside and outdoors.

How to become a child care provider

Follow these steps to help start your career as a child care provider:

19. Complete your education

Earn the necessary education to start working as a child care provider by completing your high school education or getting a GED certificate. Child care jobs typically don’t require a specific degree unless the institution requires it. Earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in education or childhood development may prepare you for leadership roles or increase your earning potential.

Childcare careers

20. Get basic and advanced certifications

Many child care providers earn basic safety certifications  like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or basic first aid. Safety training prepares you to help children who require medical attention in the event of a minor injury or an emergency. Certain daycare facilities require employees to earn these types of certifications before filling a position.

To improve your skills and position yourself for higher-level positions, consider getting accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care or earning the Child Development Associate credential from the Council for Professional Recognition.

 21. Gain work experience

Prepare for a career in child care by taking babysitting jobs or volunteering for child care positions with local organizations. Create a resume that features your education, certifications and any relevant jobs as you look for entry-level positions. Consider taking part-time positions as you complete certifications and education to build experience before applying for full-time employment.

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